As you've seen, I'm not very happy with Episode 6...
... and I'm sure you could guess the major reason why. I'm actually really surprised a few of you think it was a great episode, and even up there with the best of the series so far. So, while the big issue is the show's choices with Sansa, it's also just wasn't a great episode before that.
There was some good... definitely. I'm mostly good with Arya in the House of B&W. They rushed it, and I'm pretty meh on her offering the water... as it's supposed to be the one who wants the Gift that actually makes the choice. But, I get that the girl's father asked for it to end her suffering... fine. But, THAT is what moves her forward? And good to see she didn't actually hate The Hound. The show rushed her along and it really felt like she learned nothing but how to scrub and clean a body, but it's not surprising that they're speeding her along... they're hurrying a lot of things. Also, I enjoyed Tyrion and Jorah's time. I do wish Penny was around... cause if you say you don't want to see Tyrion ride a pig, you're lying.
Bronn is almost always great when he's on screen.. and thus far, I've really liked his trip to Dorne with Jaime. That fight with the Sand Snakes, however, was horrible. I think I'm just really disappointed in how they've been presented to us in general. Dorne sadly lacks
Princess Arianne, as well.
I think I've mentioned before about the shows lapse in logic and continuity... including with how the Faith is handling things. This pops up again.. as we see Littlefinger stopped by Lancel and multiple members of the Faith Militant. Everybody knows what Littlefinger does, in fact... they raided his brothels already. But when faced with the man himself, the Faith stands down? Bullocks. They grab the 'future of Highgarden' on accusations, but just step aside when Petyr even admits to 'peddling flesh.' This makes the Faith seem like Cersei's puppet... also craptastic, even if it is setting us up for something.
Speaking of lapse in logic and continuity and Littlefinger... he is supposed to have a mass of information, know who is who and what they're doing and capable of. But, for some reason... he either doesn't know, or doesn't care, how bad Ramsey is. It's near impossible to imagine that he didn't know all about Ramsey... that's just out of character. And if he knew, he would have taken precautions to keep something like this from happening to Sansa.. he knows she's the key to the North. Or, he wanted this to happen, which I don't see how it would fit into what he's been doing.
Okay... so the big issue.
Yes, this is in character for Ramsey (and yes, Iwan Rheon is awesome in the part), so it's not a surprise there. Yes, what happens with Jeyne Poole in the books is 'worse.' Neither of those things are really relevant. Since Sansa never ventures to Winterfell at this point in the books, the showrunners had an opportunity to shape this anyway they want, yet they intentionally went the rape route. And it seems that it's for not much, if anything, more than additional shock/emotional value.
Jon mentioned that he's reserving judgment until he sees where they're going after the rape scene... but I have to wonder, where can it go that will make you okay with it? It feels as if it's just a plot device to move Theon forward. It certainly isn't to move Sansa forward... and if that's what they're going to sell it as, it's bullshit. She's already been one of the most broken characters and dealt with more shit than most. And finally she was maturing and growing into her own agency and power. The show already has very few strong and positive female characters (and they've left out others in Arianne, Stoneheart, etc)... so taking one of them and reducing her to a rape victim was absolutely unnecessary and disappointing. I'm guessing they make her come back even stronger after this and seek revenge, but she was already showing her increasing resolve and she already had reason to hate the Boltons. So if it's for Theon, it's a gross use of Sansa, and if it's for Sansa, it was grossly unnecessary for the character's development. And I don't see how any of it is justified, even if this leads to bad things for Ramsey... he had them coming anyway. "This is Game of Thrones" isn't good enough, either.
With that, it felt like poor writing when looking at parts leading up to this episode. Multiple things were shown to us to prevent this from happening. I already mentioned Littlefinger, which I feel is a huge slight. But also, we know Sansa has supporters in Winterfell still.. that are looking to protect her. They're nowhere here, though (which is probably understandable, in fear of the Boltons). And more so, Brienne is supposed to have somebody relaying news to her, right? How would she not know that the wedding is happening... and if she did, she'd be there. She's right near Winterfell for that very reason, instead she's left completely out of the episode/picture.
Basically, using rape as a tool just to gain shock value or to move another character along is disgusting... and while I'm not surprised by it at this point, I am disappointed. Like I said, I am a little surprised that you guys really liked the episode so much, and didn't seem at all bothered by the direction they went. I probably made a bunch of typos or forgot to bring up a few points or didn't present a few well enough... but wanted to post something.